How having well-established brand guidelines can save you time and resources.
Building a brand is a strategic part of running a successful business in today’s market. Some businesses have created an over the top brand while others take a more subtle approach. For instance, Chubbies (a clothing company) uses bold language and is extremely casual with its audience while Amazon takes a more professional and customer service focused voice while interacting with members. Finding a consistent brand voice is crucial to maintaining an audience, building trust and helping to establish who you are as a company.
Let’s go over some ways you can get started establishing and maintaining your own brand guidelines.
Know your Story
The history of your business speaks directly to your brand image and voice. Every employee should have a firm understanding of the values and origins of your business. This will ensure that every employee can be confident with speaking to customers with the brand’s voice in mind whether it is on the phone, in person or through your digital channels. Help your employees by having a well-established company timeline, mission statement and brand values. Make these items not only readily available to your employees but have them on display. This will be the base of your brands guidelines.
Know your Goals
Your mission statement is the groundwork for your company goals, but here is where you can establish a more granular set of actionable and achievable items you would like your business to accomplish. For example, Blue Widget Co.’s mission statement is “Our mission is to exceed the expectations of our Blue Widget Co. customers, inspire and reward our Blue Widget Co. employees.” With this as the foundation, you can begin to lay out sales, marketing and branding goals for your employees to strive toward. By having a specific set of goals on display for your staff, you can be sure they will treat each customer interaction as an opportunity for achievement.
Know your Audience
The way you speak to your audience says a lot about your brand. So it is important that you know not only who you are speaking to but how you would like to be perceived by those you speak to. That is the essence of your brand. Identify who your audience is and plot out each persona that makes up your audience. Here is a guide to creating audience personas. This will help you establish the best language to use when speaking to your audience. Establishing a guideline for the types of language you use will help you trust your employees to respond and interact with your customers without having to micromanage them.
With each of the examples above, you will be able to establish a specific set of brand guidelines with regards to the feel and attitude of communication that the business sends out to its audience. Whether it is through email, the website or on social media, your company will have a clear and focused understanding of how to interact and provide information to your customers. By doing this, you allow yourself to bring in and train new employees and be sure that the message they send will be consistent and clearly follow the image and voice you have established as a company.